The ability to capture an independent, eclectic, resonating sound shared with a complete rock star entourage is difficult to achieve among today’s plethora of sound-alike bands.
Curse Icon is everything but that–exceeding the duplication of regurgitated, ordinary music.
The band has achieved a status well beyond the extremities of a laid back garage band. Continued determination and commitment has created this ferocious band. They have the ability to mesmerize attendees at live shows. Having a chat with the band at their first Columbus, Ohio show furthered the evidence.
Looking somewhat intimidating with a gripping black leather top, armbands, bracelets, and black heels, lead female vocalist Kiana smiles with gracious pleasure revealing a charismatic set of teeth that could make Medusa turn to stone.
“I actually got my start with ballet and jazz. Early on I was into pop and R & B. Then, I was introduced to rock! I was hooked, and never looked back!”
The Floridian rock goddess teamed with drummer Marco and Andy Youngblood during the beginning stages of Curse Icon.
Following a rumored record deal in Florida and plans to move to New York and L.A., Kiana and Marco were in desperate search of dedicated, committed musicians.
Marco said, “We’ve always had a bigger mindset than local bands. We always aim to be national.”
Thus, a number of auditions took place to reconstruct the line-up in a period of six months.
Guitarist/Vocalist Se7eN responded to an online ad in his home state of North Carolina.
“There was nothing going on in North Carolina, and I was looking for something serious, so I tried out over a weekend and got the spot.” A true commitment was made when Se7eN and his family moved from North Carolina to Cleveland to pursue Curse Icon.
Jason from Dayton, Ohio also responded to an ad and got the spot as rhythm guitarist.
The last element needed to complete the well-developed soundscape was keyboards.
“I was actually going to go without keyboards,” commented Marco. “The funny thing is, I was looking for a DAT machine to replace the live keyboard sound when Chris called!”
The youngest member of the band, Chris, was a composition major and developed an endowed talent with keyboards and classical piano at a ripe age.
Marco was pleased with Chris’ ability to learn so quickly. “He had a past with keyboards, and we worked with him relentlessly. He learned a lot in a short amount of time.”
The solid line-up was set and Curse Icon came to be, calling Cleveland, Ohio home.
As an adolescent, Marco was shielded from rock music by his strict Italian mother. He purchased his first drum set when he was 18, continuing his musicianship he also works as a graphic designer. Marco is responsible for the Curse Icon cross logo as well as the band’s name.
“We started way back trying to find a name, so we originally called ourselves (Marco uses my notebook to draw the symbol) “*@#!” and that resembles a cuss word, which migrated to Cuss Icon, and finally formed into Curse Icon.”
Curse Icon released the raw edged paradismal in 2005. The album displays all the prowess of Curse Icon’s offerings to the world of rock.
paradismal was recorded at Power Station Studios in Pompano Beach, FL with engineer Rob Roy. On the recording, Kiana used a mic and custom-built EQ’s by Toni Bongiovi when he was with Motown Records—this historical mic was used previously by Bruce Springsteen, Madonna, Aretha Franklin and many others.
Kiana commented, “I was like, ‘wow, I get to use that?! Cool!” The mic brought out the full force effectiveness of Kiana’s shivering vocals.
Following the interview, Curse Icon prepped for their set at the Billiard Club. Seeing the band’s live performance further proves their national potential.
Live versions of “Falling Away” and “Down” is enough to please any fan of dedicated musicianship. The power behind Kiana’s vocals (not to mention her sexy salsa moves and use of the entire stage), the aggressiveness of Marco’s drumming, Se7eN’s flawless guitar solos, Jason’s hypnotic stop-time abilities, and Chris’s precise note-for-note call and response clarity create an unstoppable unit that can easily hit the road as a major, national headlining act.
Displaying the band’s devotion and love to their loyal fan base, Kiana invited attendees on stage for the closing song.
Marco told us, “We’re on the radar of a couple labels. The only thing is, you need to be really careful about the type of contract you sign, so that you’re not locked up in a bad deal.”
As far as writing, Marco constructs the lyrics and writes in third person to make the content relate to Kiana’s experiences, “it’s primarily based on experiences, random thoughts, and trying to find a hook. You should see the mass amounts of paper when I’m trying to write and piece it together, and then put it in third person!”
The third person approach also opens the door for many interpretations, allowing individual fans to paste together their own relationship to each song.
Marco then takes his bandmates and lays down song portions on the computer. “It’s purely a group effort.”
Curse Icon continues to record new material while on tour.
The band has set themselves up as a determined, dedicated team; ready to represent rock ‘n roll with a unique appeal, no holding back.
Curse Icon has since departed and the former band members are taking on different projects.
Written By Neil Shumate, Out Of The Blue Publications, Copyright OOTB